About the Study Guide

This Online Study Guide has been approved by Transport Canada strictly on the basis that it meets the requirements of the Standard for Pleasure Craft Operator Card Testing over the Internet (TP 15080E) and the Boating Safety Course and Test Syllabus (TP 14932E). This approval does not represent confirmation of authorship by the course provider. Feel free to look around, but you’ll need to register to begin progress toward getting your Pleasure Craft Operator Card

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Inherently buoyant PFD
Inherently buoyant PFD

Approved personal flotation devices (PFDs) may be used instead of lifejackets on all pleasure craft, regardless of length. This includes inherently buoyant and inflatable PFDs.

  • PFDs are designed to be more comfortable than lifejackets. This is a benefit when you plan to wear a flotation device constantly while boating.
  • Not all PFDs are red, orange, or yellow. It is a good idea to choose one of these colours, however, so that you are more visible when in the water.
  • PFDs usually offer less flotation than lifejackets and have a limited capability to turn you on your back if you fall in the water.
  • Some PFDs provide thermal protection against hypothermia.
  • All adult-size inherently buoyant PFDs are designed to be worn by persons who weigh more than 41 kg (90 lbs). They range in size from XXS to XXXL.

Choose a PFD based on what you will be doing while wearing it.

  • PFDs that have three or more chest belts will be more secure if you will be operating at high speeds.
  • PFDs with thermal protection are a good choice if you will be boating in water that is less than 15°C.
  • PFDs are available for specific activities, including canoeing, kayaking, sailboarding, and water skiing.